Social media is being woven into the fabric of our daily lives almost without us noticing. Most mainstream news sites now have user comments and voting, and they embed video that we can share.
Sites like Facebook and MySpace are going mainstream; even parents are getting involved so as to interact with their children. Business networking sites like LinkedIn and Xing are providing useful ways to connect for business purposes. These sites are using web 2.0 style social computing features to drive user engagement.
Presently there are more that 100 million websites according to Netcraft and many of them now incorporate social media and web 2.0 elements.
There are a couple of important things to note before we consider technology. Firstly, human beings are inherently social creatures and we formed social networks for generations without the benefit of any technology apart from language. Secondly, the speed of technological change means that much of our opinion of what is important today will be proved wrong, possibly even a few months from now.
Technology is evolving fast. For example six months ago most people thought twittering was something done by birds. But 2008 saw micro blogging via Twitter become widely recognised as an innovative social media platform.
In 2009 it is likely that video micro blogging and point of view video will begin to take off as our social media becomes even more personal. Some of the new platforms make it easier than ever before for ordinary people to participate, for example Seesmic enables anyone with a webcam and microphone to participate in video blogging.